Post Malone is something of a unicorn in the music industry as someone who switches around his genres and bends conventions. He broke through back in 2015 and he has continued to put out hits ever since, reaching number one in 2017 with his song “Rockstar” featuring 21 Savage and then dominating the charts with “Psycho” featuring Ty Dolla Sign, the Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse soundtrack song “Sunflower” with Swae Lee, and “Circles” all by himself.
His fifth album, AUSTIN, is his most personal album yet, which is likely why he used his first name as its title. The album continues Post’s musical genre-hopping, as it heads toward a more pop rock sound than the trap-beat raps he made his name on. While the album is more stripped down and comes with a heavy dose of acoustic guitar, his typical production flourishes still abound all across the album. A choir sings alongside him in “Landmine” and the rich layers on track two, “Something Real,” give the album a vast landscape to explore over the rest of its runtime.
Lyrically, the album deals with the struggles of fame and addiction. He sings mournfully about his desire to find peace within himself, his burning passion to be a good father and family man, and his romantic struggles over the years. It’s the most honest sounding music I’ve heard all year and I haven’t been able to stop listening to so many of the standout tracks littered throughout “Austin” such as Chemical, Mourning, Hold My Breath, Texas Tea, and Buyer Beware.
In interviews, Post Malone has always come across as a superstar with a heart of gold and he puts every ounce of that into his latest album, Austin, which is available now.
I’m Evan Rook.